Most popular Bollywood Villains from the 70s 80s and 90s

A Bollywood movie cannot do without a villain. The bad guy is the quintessential of Hindi films. Without a villain a movie cannot be a box office success, so they say. Over the years a number of actors have donned the role of bad guy in Hindi movies, but only a few remain etched in the mind for their iconic performances. This space is dedicated to Bollywood’s most popular villains from the 70s 80s and 90s.

Since the 60s, Bollywood films have had their share of villains. Facial expressions of a villain in Bollywood movies are of significant importance, yes they are. I mean name 10 movies from the late 70s and early 80s that do not have bad guys drooling over the hero’s sister or girlfriend. The tongue- rolling, tongue-twisting and tongue-biting of villains in Bollywood movies begins after they corner a hapless chick that apparently happens to be the hero’s sister, girlfriend, girlfriend’s sister or barbie…oops Bhabi (Sister-In-Law).

The most hated guys among cinema goers never fail to deliver. They play their character to perfection, however, when it comes to hogging the limelight it’s the hero that basks in glory. Though things have drastically changed in recent times, there was no pity for villains in the past.

Even if an actor essayed a character role splendidly, he was remembered more for his diabolic roles in movies, sadly that was Bollywood in the past. In the past actors playing a negative role got branded, and made it big with a villain tag attached to their name. The 70s, 80s and 90s were decades that belonged to villains. Who were these bad guys that made women and children tremble with fear? The lines to follow reveal all.

Amjad Khan- This Bollywood actor and director was one of the most feared villains in the late 70s and early 80s. A movie without him in those days seemed incomplete. Amjad Khan earned iconic status with his role as Gabbar Singh, a dacoit in the 1975 blockbuster Sholay. This guy could make a child cry with his schizoid gaze. Without doubt, he is one of Bollywoods’s greatest and most popular villains.

Prem Chopra- One of the most hated guys among film audiences from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. This gentle, soft spoken, individual has acted in over 320 films, Hindi and Punjabi. When Prem Chopra was around, heroines ran helter-skelter, sadly there was no escaping. Prem…Prem Chopra had his way. Prem Chopra had a unique style and was given some of the most awesome villain’s lines of his time, the most popular being…Prem Naam hai Mera…Prem Chopra.

Ranjeet- Gopal Bedi who was popularly known by his screen name Ranjeet was the undisputed king of rape scenes in the late 70s and early 80s. He had a go at them all, spared no leading lady of his time. Often portrayed as the leader of a group of goons, this guy had a dominating screen presence.  What was surprising is this guy often got beaten up by heroes half his size, only after he had committed a heinous act. Ranjeet never needed any dialogues; his facial expressions and on-screen mannerisms said it all.

Pran- A winner of multiple Filmfare and BFJA awards, Pran, born Pran Krishan Sikand has acted in over 320 films. Although he has played memorable character roles in the 60s and 70, he is remembered for his villainous work in movies.

Shakti Kapoor- Shakti Kapoor started his acting career in 1975. In the 80s a suave- looking Shakti Kapoor was an essential part in every Hindi film. He did it all, raped women, sold drugs, killed cops, burnt villages, beat up hero’s with his goons, killed innocent people, drooled, Truly, a jack of all trades. In the 90s Shakti Kapoor did some memorable comic roles, but is remembered for his evil villainous roles in the 80s and 90s.

Amrish Puri- This man was known for his commanding screen presence. Add to that a baritone voice. Yes, Amrish Puri had one of the sexiest baritone’s in Bollywood. It’s least surprising why some of the best dialogues ever uttered by a villain came from this guy’s voice box. Amrish Puri played the role Mola Ram in Steven Speilberg’s 80s classic Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Amrish Puri’s most popular dialogue is from the movie Mr. India…Mogambo Khush Hua.

Gulshan Grover- Fondly known as ‘Badman’ for his numerous villainous roles, Gulshan Grover is an actor that has played over the top characters. ‘Gullu’ as he is fondly known has worn some of the most outrageous wigs and costumes to essay has villainous characters in movies.

Ajit- Definitely one of the most stylish baddies of Bollywood, Hamid Ali Khan known by his screen name Ajit was the’ Undisputed King’ of quirky catch phrases in Hindi cinema. His laidback dialogue delivery made him a household name. His line Sara sehar mujhe Loyan (Lion) ke naam se jaanta hai earned him epic iconic status. This guy was the smooth operator among villains. He was surrounded with women and was often showcased as a tech-savvy dude in a control room with blinking multicolored bulbs passed off as futuristic gadgets, need I say more. 

Danny Denzongpa- This guy’s nostrils were enough to send a shiver down the spine of audiences in the 80s and 90s. Danny Denzongpa was a villain known for his facial expressions, more so his flaring nostrils. A look at his nostrils and you could tell this guy was not in favor of peaceful conversations.

Jeevan- Omakar Nath Dhar, known as Jeevan acted in several mythological movies of the 1950s, the role of Narad Muni in particular. In the 60s, 70s and early 80s he played the role of villain in a number of Hindi films. In movies he carried out his con job to perfection.

Below is a list of other unforgettable actors who have donned the role Bollywood villains

  • Prem Nath


  • Sadashiv Amrapurkar


  • Kulbhushan Kharbanda


  • Bob Christo


  • Shetty


  • K.N. Singh


  • Madan Puri

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